Summer is just around the corner! Is your RV Ready?
It’s right around the corner! Vacation time is almost here, and if you’re hitting the road in your RV this year, you’ll want to prep your rig so it’s ready to handle everything a long road trip has to throw at it. Unless you live in a warm climate (we’re jealous), chances are your RV has been stored for the winter and could use a tune-up. This week, we’ll give you some trips and tricks so you’re fully prepared for an awesome summer of travel your RV. Read on!
1. Check the Tires
This should probably go without saying, but be sure to check the tires for wear and the tire pressure before hitting the road. Any cracks in the treads or on the sidewall must be replaced. Don’t get stuck in the middle of nowhere!
2. Check the Exterior
Water leaks are the most common issue when storing your rig for awhile, but they can cause serious damage. Check your roof and caulking around windows, doors, AC units, etc. Even small cracks can be a big headache.
3. Drain the Water System
If you’ve used RV anti-freeze over the winter (which you should), be sure to flush out your water system before actually using the water. The easiest way is to mix a cup of bleach with a gallon of water, and pour it into your empty water tank. Run your faucets until you begin to smell bleach, then let it sit for a day. Drain your water tank again, and fill it with water. Run your system again until the bleach smell goes away. You’ll probably need to do this several times in order to completely flush out the tank. Here’s a video for reference:
Long-term storage builds up all sorts of foreign debris in your RV. Be sure to thoroughly clean all appliances, and dust out any cobwebs, insects, nests, etc. Use household cleaners to clean out dirt and dust. You can use light air from an air compressor to clean out the burner area, but DO NOT blow high pressure up the refrigerator chimney. A thorough cleaning of appliances will go a long way to keeping everything in working order.
5. Check the Batteries
It’s not uncommon for batteries to lose up to 10% per month due to internal leakage, and if your batteries haven’t been stored properly over winter, it might be time to replace them. If you’ve recharged the batteries periodically over the winter, you should be good to go. Regardless, make sure they are fully charged, and they have enough water before reinstalling. If you don’t feel comfortable, ask a qualified professional for help. Your batteries must be fully functional before hitting the road.
6. Test the Gas
Be sure to test all of your gas appliances before heading out. First, check your liquid propane (LP). Make sure all LP appliances are turned off, there is no smoking, flames or sparks nearby and the leak detector inside the RV is on. Open the valves of your tanks, and smell for any leaks. If you detect a leak, talk to a professional to repair it for you.
If everything looks good, light your stove-top burner, then light the fridge on gas. Light your water heater as well, but first make sure it’s full. Gas appliances can be difficult to get started after sitting awhile, and can be dangerous. Be sure everything is in working order.
7. Extra Safety
Replace the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Make sure the fire extinguisher is still full. Check your plumbing system and lines for cracks and leaks. Roll out your awnings and inspect the fabric. You’ll also want to make sure the generator is in good working condition. Generators, like gas, can be tricky after sitting for an extended period of time.
These are just a few steps to make sure your RV is primed for an awesome summer vacation. If you’re unclear on any of these steps, it’s a good idea to take your RV in to a place like Camping World to get everything tuned-up. The last thing you want is to have to make repairs on the road, or have a much-needed appliance break down. Here’s to some fantastic road trips this year, and happy exploring!
Have You Camped with Coast to Coast? Don’t Miss these awesome Wisconsin Parks this summer!
Of course you’ve heard of our 5 Properties you can enjoy as a member of MOR, but did you know that we offer other destinations as well? This week, we’ll take a look at 5 awesome parks you can visit in beautiful Wisconsin! Depending on your membership level, you can visit these parks for $10 per night, or completely free! These destinations come compliments of our affiliate, Coast to Coast. Let’s take a look!
Located in the gorgeous northwoods region of Wisconsin, Chain O’ Lakes offers fishing, boating, hiking and swimming o’ plenty! The campground sits right on Cranberry Lake, which is connected to 28 other lakes in the area (hence, Chain O’ Lakes). The area features 47 acres of woodland area, perfect for the whole family to explore!
Gresham is a gorgeous little town located about an hour from Green Bay. This wooded lakeside resort is perfect for getting away from it all, with two sand beaches and a clubhouse overlooking the water. The lake is closed to motorized boats, so you can really get some peace and quiet. For nightlife, the Menominee Casino is only 8 miles away.
If you’re into fishing, this is the resort for you. Located on Lake Thompson, you can cast for trophy Muskie, or check out the 232 lakes, Trout streams and two rivers located within a 12-mile radius. West Bay also offers a private beach and plenty of great hiking. Ask about the legend of the Hodag!
Sturgeon Bay is located in Wisconsin’s famed Door County, one of the most scenic places in the Upper Midwest. Harbour Village is close to some of the best golf, wineries and beaches in all of Wisconsin. Harbour Village also has the largest waterpark in Door County, so you know the kids will love it!
We couldn’t talk about a Wisconsin vacation without mentioning Wisconsin Dells! Widely known as “The Waterpark Capital of the World,” this is a wonderful area to take the entire family. Christmas Mountain Village has a 27-hole golf course, as well as alpine skiing in the winter. Boating and fishing are a must in the area, and there are plenty of secluded forests to explore. The entire area is a bucket-list destination, so don’t miss out!
One aspect of a MOR membership our customers really enjoy is the flexibility to check out new areas. Remember, these parks average $10 per night for a Midwest Outdoor Resorts Deluxe Member and are free for Premier Members! Give us a call at (800) 231-0425 and we’ll be happy to go over all your membership options. Happy exploring!
It’s almost spring, and therefore, almost camping season! Few things go hand-in-hand with camping better than s’mores. This week, we’re going to give you some interesting s’more recipes you and the entire family can enjoy! Let’s get a little creative, and see if we can make a delicious snack even better. Click on the links above the pictures to find full recipes. Enjoy!
We’ve done some Dutch Oven recipes before, but this one might be the most delicious! This particular recipe takes about 15 minutes, but will make 12 servings. An easy and efficient way to make dessert for a lot of campers!
Have you ever tried campfire bacon? If not, you’re missing out. Combine it with the classic s’more, and you’ve got one interesting flavor combination! This particular recipe uses a home oven, but can just as easily be done over the campfire.
As this recipe says, the only thing better than eating a s’more is drinking one! This gooey treat is absolutely delicious. To be honest, it may get a little messy at the campsite, so try it at home first.
Try these fresh ideas to countdown to your next family vacation
So, you’ve got the date set, the tickets are bought and all the work plans are in place. In a couple months, you and the family are heading out on an awesome vacation! Unfortunately, the kids know it too, and are pestering you every day, constantly asking how much longer it will be until they get to leave. Why not do something productive and fun the entire family can participate in? This week, we’re going to give you a few ideas on making a vacation countdown, which helps with not only counting down the days, but also saving and planning for your trip. Read on!
Making a countdown calendar is pretty simple, and there are all kinds of options. You could buy a Hawaii calendar, for example, and have the family jot down fun things to do every day until your trip. If the kids are into coloring and drawing, have them draw pictures of things they’ll be seeing at your destination each day. You could also do an “advent calendar” type things, where you peel off a portion to see a fact and/or picture about your trip. Click here to find a bunch of great ideas.
2. Countdown Chain:
A countdown chain is exactly what it sounds like. You can use construction paper or cardstock, and make individual pieces for every day until your vacation. Have the kids decorate each piece with stickers or drawings. There’s something very satisfying about seeing that chain get shorter and shorter! Here’s a cool idea for a beach vacation countdown chain.
3. Savings Plan:
Of course, it’s always a good idea to teach kids about saving their money. If they know they’re going to be using it on an awesome trip, they’ll tend to be more motivated. You could do something simple like piggy banks for each member of the family, and chart everyone’s saving progress as you go along, or even set up individual bank accounts and have a competition to see who can save the most. Maybe the kid who saves the most gets an extra prize. This is especially good if you can get extended family involved as well.
4. Countdown Gifts:
At significant intervals (50 days out, 25, etc.), you could give or send a useful little gift to those going on vacation. This could be something as simple as pictures of your destination, or something they’ll use, like sunglasses for the beach. You don’t have to break the bank on this, but it will get kids (and adults!) excited for your upcoming trip.
Fresh Air & Family Time: Tent Camping Has Never Sounded Better
For as long as humans have existed, we have camped. From the early hunter-gatherers to the sophisticated explorers of today, people have camped underneath the stars and truly connected with nature. Camping is one of the best ways to detach from the grind of everyday existence. This week, we’re going to give you 7 reasons why you and your family should try tent camping this summer. If you haven’t tent camped, or it has been a long time, it’s time to recharge your batteries and get outdoors. Here’s why:
1. Camping is Economical
If we’re being pragmatic about it, camping is going to save you a lot of money compared to other destination. With airfare, hotels, theme park tickets, etc., expenses can add up quickly, especially when travelling with family. Camping is comparatively cheap, and can be just as much fun. Sure, you may need to purchase some basic equipment like a tent and sleeping bags, but your still going to save a ton just by camping for a couple vacations.
2. Camping Keeps You Fit
Being outdoors in general is healthier than sitting on your couch, and if you do even some moderate activity (which you will) you’re going to burn a lot of calories. Most campsites have plenty of hiking, biking and swimming nearby, and usually new activities you’ve never tried before. Being outdoors also boosts your vitamin D and increases your endorphins, which are natural stress-fighters.
3. Camping Allows You to Explore New Places
You can camp just about anywhere you go in the U.S. There are so many fantastic things and places to see, and you’re not tied down to just one spot when you camp. Non-campers are often shocked how many great campgrounds and gorgeous areas are less than an hour from their homes. You can go places you’ve never thought of going and really expand your horizons.
4. Camping Makes the Food Taste Better
There’s nothing like campfire food after a long day of hiking and exploring. If you haven’t experienced it, trust us on this one. There are all kinds of new and fun recipes to try, and again, it’s going to cost a lot less than taking the entire family to a restaurant.
5. Camping Resets Your Sleep Cycle
Studies have shown that exposing yourself to only natural light can reset your sleep cycles to that of the sun, the way humans lived for thousands of years before harnessing electricity. A few days of camping will really help you sleep better when you get back home.
6. Camping Lets You Detach
We’re so often bombarded by constant phone notifications, emails and advertisements that we don’t understand how scrambled we can get. Now, we’re not suggesting you’re never going to have your phone or tablet with you when camping, but it might be nice to turn them off for awhile. Again, studies show that simply getting away from work and/or school will actually make you a better employee/student when you get home. Leave technology behind for awhile, and live (at least somewhat) like our ancestors. You’ll be thankful you did.
7. Camping Makes Memories and Builds Skills
We’d venture a guess that those of you who grew up camping have unforgettable memories of friends and family together. The skills and activities you learn while growing up camping can be used for a lifetime and passed down through the generations. At Midwest Outdoor Resorts, our campgrounds offer all sorts of fun and unique activities that the entire family can do together. Most state parks also offer classes and lessons on all sorts of things, from kayaking to knot-tying. If you’re looking to rekindle a relationship, or get closer with your friends and/or family, camping in the outdoors is a perfect way to do it.
Please let us know some of your favorite camping memories or activities in the comments. As always, we’re happy to help plan your next camping adventure. Give us a call toll-free at (800) 231-0425, or email us here. Happy exploring!
Check out these Awesome Vacation Destinations, and Get Yourself to MN this Summer!
Let’s face it, Minnesota is one of the most underrated vacation destinations in the U.S. In the winter, people think ice and snow, and in the summer, humidity and mosquitoes. Luckily, that couldn’t be further from the case. Minnesota is full of awesome family adventures throughout the state, and offers a wide variety of terrain and climate so you can find activities for everyone. This week, we’re going to take a look at 5 awesome destinations for you to check out in Minnesota this summer.
1. The Twin Cities
Of course. If you haven’t made a trip to Minneapolis/St. Paul in the summer, you’re missing out. The Twin Cities are full of awesome activities, from art fairs to baseball games to museums to the Mall of America. They really revamped the downtown area over the years, and it’s a great place to visit for the entire family. If you’re looking to stay away from city life but still want to be close, check out our new Ham Lake Resort, located just half an hour north of Minneapolis. You’ll get all the fun outdoorsy activities while being close enough to take a day trip or two into the Twin Cities. Don’t miss the Cities in the summer!
2. The St. Croix River
The St. Croix creates a border between Minnesota and Wisconsin, and is widely considered one of the best canoe rivers in the United States. This scenic waterway is also great for fishing, with 19 species including Walleye, Smallmouth Bass, Northern Pike, Lake Sturgeon and more. The area is filled with ATV trails, and is known for tubing (a Minnesota tradition!). Visit us at the St. Croix River Resort, where you’ll stay minutes away from all the fantastic activities the St. Croix has to offer.
3. Lake Mille Lacs
Located approximately 100 miles north of the Twin Cities, Lake Mille Lacs is a gorgeous summer vacation destination. Mille Lacs is the second-largest inland lake in Minnesota (which is saying a lot), and the surrounding area is filled with a fun small-town vibe. Grand Casino Mille Lacs offers nightlife for the adults, and there is plenty of fishing, boating, kayaking, swimming, hiking, biking and golf to keep the entire family occupied. As a member, you can stay at the Soo Line Trail Campground, just minutes from the lake and right by the famous ATV trails. This is a cool area that is often overlooked by those coming from out-of-state, but it shouldn’t be!
4. Bluff Country
Looking to get away from it all? There’s no better place than Minnesota’s Bluff Country, tucked in the Southeast corner of the state. This historic area has 4 state parks, 3 state trails, 2 state waterways and one huge state forest. MOR’s Hidden Bluffs Resort, located in Spring Grove, is a perfect destination from which to explore Bluff Country. From Hidden Bluffs you can explore the Root River, the Niagara and Mystery Caves, Amish communities, and plenty of outdoor activities like fishing and tubing. This is not an over-crowded area, so come for the peace and tranquility the area offers.
5. The North Shore
We’d be remiss not to mention the North Shore of Lake Superior. This is Northwoods vacationing at its finest. The woods and waters around the area are perfect for fishing, boating, canoeing, hiking, biking, camping and any other outdoor activity you can think of (some brave souls even surf Lake Superior!). The city of Duluth is a great spot to start your vacation from, then journey north along the lake and check out the gorgeous towns of Two Harbors, Grand Marais and Lutsen. You can also hike the Gunflint Trail, which winds inland from Grand Marais and provides access to the Boundary Waters, and hike to the top of Eagle Mountain, the highest point in Minnesota. There is a ton to do on the North Shore, but be aware that other people are aware of it as well. This area will be busier than the others on our list, but is well worth the trip.
If you’ve never been to Minnesota in the summer, you’re missing out. Give us a call toll-free at (800) 231-0425 and we’ll be more than happy to help plan your Minnesota summer vacation. Happy exploring!
Ham Lake Resort is Midwest Outdoor Resort’s Newest Location, Opening May 1st for the Season!
Have you heard?!?! If you haven’t, we’re excited to announce that Midwest Outdoor Resorts is opening an awesome new vacation spot this May in Ham Lake, MN! This week, we’re going to give you a sneak peak at some fun things we’ll be offering at our Ham Lake Resort. Ham Lake is located 30 minutes north of the Twin Cities, making it a perfect weekend getaway spot. Let’s take a look at some fun things that will be going on at our newest resort this camping season!
1. The Lake Itself
Of course! While very close to Minneapolis and St. Paul, Ham Lake is a quiet and secluded area, perfect for dissolving the stress of work and school over a long weekend. The resort is located right on the lake, and we’ll have rowboat and canoe rentals, as well as paddle boat rentals on the pond. You can also bring your own boat, and of course, fishing is a must! The resort also has a swimming beach, which will make for plenty of laketime fun for you and the entire family!
2. Petting Farm
Did we mention Ham Lake will be fun for the entire family? Unique to MOR resorts, Ham Lake will have goats, a pony, llamas, a mule and a peacock, all available for the kids to pet and feed. The animals are a lot of fun for everyone!
3. The Surrounding Area
If you’re looking for something to do outside the resort, there’s plenty of fun available! Nearby towns include Bethel, Lino Lakes, Blaine, Coon Rapids, Andover and more. Be sure to check out Willow Tree Winery, a new vineyard and tasting room right in Ham Lake, or stop by Pump It Up, a fun spot with inflatable slides, obstacle courses and bounce houses for the kids. If you’re a golfer, Majestic Oaks Golf Club is renowned in the area and offers two 18-hole courses as well as an executive 9-hole course. This is a really fun area full of activities!
4. The Service You've Come to Expect from Midwest Outdoor Resorts
Ham Lake will feature all the great amenities and services you’ve come to expect from MOR. In addition to the petting farm, Ham Lake will have a community firepit, tent camping sites, RV hookups and cabins. Ham Lake will continue to grow and improve throughout the seasons.
We truly can’t wait to open in May. Ham Lake is a great addition to our resort group, and we’re excited to show you and your family a great time at our newest resort. Be sure to give us a call at (800) 231-0425 or leave a message in the comments with any questions. We’re looking forward to another awesome camping season, and hope you are as well. Happy exploring!
Maybe you and your family have already done Disney, Yellowstone, the Rocky Mountains, etc. While spectacular, you know how expensive and crowded those destinations can be. Perhaps like us, you’re a little quirky and like to explore new and off-the-beaten path regions. This week, we’re going to give you five up-and-coming areas in the Midwest to check out. These places will be less crowded than your normal tourist stops, yet still offer a lot of fun for the entire family. Read on!
The area around Traverse City has over 100 lakes and more than 180 miles of shoreline. Stop in July for the annual Cherry Festival, where live music, games and an air show are just a few of the family-friendly activities available. There is also plenty of nature to enjoy, with over 3,000 acres of parkland. Hiking, paddling and fishing are some of the many fun things Traverse City has to offer. Michigan beaches are often overlooked, but they shouldn’t be.
This overlooked area is bustling with fun year-round. Paddling, river boating, fishing, and hiking abound on one of the prettiest rivers in the Midwest. You can also visit Stillwater, MN, which is a great little town for historic landmarks and antique shopping. In the winter, some of the best cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in the midwest is available. Be sure to stop and see us at our St. Croix River Resort, which offers lodging, camping and a ton of fun for the whole family.
Located on a peninsula between Green Bay and Lake Michigan, Door County is often called “The Cape Cod of the Midwest.” Door County has five state parks and fantastic arts, music and food scenes during the summer. You must take a stroll through the 2,500 acres of cherry orchards, and skiing, snowboarding and snowshoeing are all available during the winter months. Door County is truly a hidden gem in the Midwest.
Be sure to bring your camera! Hocking Hills offers unbeatable scenery in the summer and fall months, and the winter offers awesome hikes. Replete with caves and gigantic rock formations, Hocking Hills is a great area for biking, canoeing and even zip-lining! A Scottish theme permeates the area, with cottages and fine dining. This is quickly becoming a go-to vacation spot, so get there before it becomes too popular!
We’d be remiss not to mention our own home in the Black Hills. OK, so Mount Rushmore isn’t necessarily off-the-beaten path for vacationers, but there is so much more to do in the Hills. From unparalleled hiking to historic landmarks, Southwestern South Dakota offers one of the best vacation destinations in the U.S. There are famous areas like Deadwood and the Badlands to see, but be sure to check out Hill City, which offers scenic treasures and a bustling arts and music scene. Stop and see us at Rushmore Shadows Resort, where you’ll stay just minutes from all the awesome adventures the Black Hills have to offer.
Please let us know your favorite Midwest vacation spots in the comments. Of course, there are many more places to visit in this wonderful region. Give us a call at (800) 231-0425 and we’ll be happy to help plan your next Midwest adventure today. Happy exploring!
If you’re anything like us, you’re ready for warm weather, sunshine and camping season! Fortunately, it’s not that far away. This week, we’re going to give you 7 awesome new tent camping gadgets that you’ll want to take into the wilderness with you this summer. From espresso makers to survival tools, these gadgets will definitely make your life in the forest a lot easier. Read on!
If you’ve ever gone on a long road trip with the family, or have been stuck inside when the weather isn’t cooperating, you know you need something to do. Bringing along games is a great way to add fun to any vacation. Of course, old staples like a deck of cards give you a lot of different options, but we’re going to focus on some fun newer games you can play with the whole fam. Read on to find some of our favorites!
Getting in shape is tough enough at home. On the road, it’s even tougher. Whether you’re on a vacation, business trip, or loving life in the RV, staying in shape while travelling can be challenging. Normal routines get thrown out the window and there are temptations at every off-ramp. This week, we’re going to give you some tips and tricks to stay healthy while you’re off the beaten path.
Make Your Family’s Disney Vacation Dreams a Reality with a little bit of planning and a lot of saving!
Start Saving to Take a Disney Vacation
Every family should have the chance to take a Disney vacation at least once. This week, we’re going to give you some tips so you can save up and take that trip your kids always dream about. Disney offers some great discounts that you can take advantage of, and regardless of your budget, it’s always a good idea to save some extra coin. Read on to find ways to make your way to the land of Mickey!
It was an incredible year here at Midwest Outdoor Resorts, let’s take a look at a few of our favorite adventures from 2017
Happy New Year MOR patrons! We’re glad to be back and are looking forward to an awesome 2018! This week, we’re going to recap some of the new events and exciting happenings that took place throughout our resorts last year, and give you our #1 resolution for 2018. We had a lot of fun in 2017, so let’s recap:
Don’t just kick it to the curb, there are many easy eco-friendly ways to recycle your tree this year!
Here’s to hoping you made it through the holidays with your sanity intact! Now that Yuletide is behind us, we’re going to offer some tips on the thankless job of getting rid of your Christmas tree. You don’t have to just throw it on the curb or try to stuff it into a dumpster. There are multiple ways to put your beautiful tree to good use. Read on to dispose of your tree without clogging up the landfill!
Our Picks for the Most Festive Holiday Movies Around!
It has long been a Hollywood staple to release some of the biggest blockbusters over the holiday season, and for good reason. People are off work, kids are off school, and there is plenty of movie merchandise to be sold. This week, we’re going to take a look at some of the holiday movies that have stood the test of time. There’s nothing better than cuddling up around the fire and watching a great Christmas flick with the family, and while there are plenty to choose from, only a select few will make our list. Enjoy!
Delicious can also mean nutritious this Holiday Season!
If there’s ever a time of year we could use some healthy snacks, it’s now. With Thanksgiving, Christmas, plenty of parties and all kinds of other festivities, it’s easy to go overboard on the fat and sugar. This week, we’re going to give you a few tips and recipes to jump start your healthy-eating habits heading into the New Year. Read on to find some simple and delicious recipes the whole family will enjoy!
Help pass the hours on your family Christmas Road Trip with these Holly Jolly Favorites!
We’re here to spread the cheer! If you’re traveling on the road this holiday season, you need something to occupy the time. This week we’re going to give you our favorite road trip holiday playlist, filled with songs everyone in your family will enjoy. If you don’t want to drive each other crazy in the car, read on!
Have an outdoor lover in your life? Check out our favorite camping themed stocking stuffer ideas.
Here’s to hoping you had a fantastic Thanksgiving! We’re back this week to give you some gift ideas for the outdoorsy folks in your life. Camping stocking stuffers are useful presents that won’t break the bank. Sometimes, thinking small with your gifts can be very meaningful! Read on to find some great stocking stuffers for the campers you love.
This Time of Year it’s Important to Remember What Really Matters. Check Out 4 things we are Thankful for this Thanksgiving!
It’s hard to believe we’ve already hit Thanksgiving 2017. The year has flown by once again, and we’re looking forward to some good food and family time. Since it’s a short week, this will be a short post, but we just wanted to show our appreciation and list a few things we’re thankful for here at Midwest Outdoor Resorts.
Our Best Tips for Making the Most out of your Holiday Travel this year!
There’s a reason the quickly-approaching season is considered the most stressful time of year. You’ve got gifts to buy, planes to catch, in-laws to deal with, etc. While you appreciate and enjoy the holiday itself, planning your vacation (hopefully you can call it that) can give you undue anxiety and ruin your trip before it’s even begun. This week, we’re going to give you some tips on how to survive holiday travel. Read on to find some useful ways to prioritize so you don’t lose your holiday cheer!